tv The Place for Politics 2016 MSNBC February 13, 2016 8:00pm-9:01pm PST
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his family. he will go down as one of the great justices in the history of this republic. i do not believe the president should appoint someone. it's been over 80 years since a lame duck president has appointed a supreme court justice. >> i believe the president should not move forward. we ought to let the next president of the united states decide who is going to run that supreme court with a vote by the people of the united states of america. >> justice scalia was a legal giant. he was somebody that i knew for 20 years. he was a brilliant fan, faithful to the constitution. he changed the arc of american legal history. >> the republicans were rebutting president obama, who had just moments earlier said he will name an appointee, and he does expect a timely vote. >> i plan to fulfill my constitutional responsibilities to nominate a successor in due time. there will be plenty of time for me to do so and for the senate to fulfill its responsibility to
give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote. >> a lot to report on. we thank you for joining us for this special coverage of the republican presidential debate in south carolina. a debate that was, of course, forced to deal with all of this breaking news, the sudden death of justice scalia. our team of nbc correspondents have been at the debate and are live in the spin room there. also for special coverage, joining me to break down the face-off, we have david frum, perry bacon, elise jordan, aaron mcpike and floyd abrams. i want to start with you, hallie, having looked at this debate and followed ted cruz around the country. in many ways, although this was by all accounts sad news for
people who follow the court, who care about the court, it was in a sense for the debate a topic that ted cruz was eager to engage on. >> reporter: and ready to engage on and you saw that right out of the gate. it was the first question the moderators asked. that is what we all expected going in, given this was the news of the day, the news that justice scalia died earlier in texas. you heard donald trump get the first question, and he seemed well prepared for it. you played that sound bite where he dropped a couple of names earlier that he would nominate were he to be president after november of 2016. and ted cruz also seemed eager to get in on this question and answer session. overall, when you talk about the debate, donald trump, it was an interesting night for him. over these last maybe four or five debates, we have seen him potentially grow as a debate, you've seen him be a little more what you would call an adult. but in this instance, he mixed it up with jeb bush and ted
cruz. marco rubio tonight seemed to be able to bounce back from his poor showing, what was widely papped his debate performance last week in new hampshire. his campaign saying his moment where he defended george w. bush was a highlight, where he mixed it up with trump was a highlight. john kasich's team think he was the adult in the room. kasich coming off that new hampshire second place finish. but ben carson seemed to fade into the back ground a little bit. he told me before the debate his supporters wanted him to get in there and to yell and interrupt and shout a little more. you didn't see that from ben carson tonight necessarily, on a night when he needed to stand out to compete with, for example, jeb bush, who was fiery tonight. he had those moments with donald trump where he took him on and defended his brother's legacy and he talked about his father and mother, popular figures here in south carolina, and you could feel that the crowd was on bush's side as well. >> kerry, speak to that on the trump side, because he was booed
at times. he had sharp words in exchanges with jeb bush, but he was vintage trump. kerry sanders? >> yes. there was a lot of cat calling going on tonight, a lot of boos. donald trump said that he didn't pack the house, that it was his wife and daughter that were in the audience, that he didn't have pac money behind him, that it's all his own money. one of the more interesting -- appeared to be an off hand comment when donald trump said look, none of these guys up here are going to win the primary. he's very confident and we'll hear what he has to say. this is the spin room where they will come in and everybody will claim the high ground. as we've seen in the past, donald trump, it appeared that ted cruz tried to call him out on this, when there is an issue up for discussion, it then turns into a personality back and forth, and ted cruz tried to call him out on that. but the limited time in the debate where each person has so much time, it didn't feel like they had a chance to follow through. ted cruz made a point on that.
donald trump sort of pushed past on that. >> gabe gutierrez, you've been following the rubio campaign. he got about nine minutes of air time, trump with 14 minutes. did rubio bounce back and show he still knows how to debatesome >> rubio did need to bounce back after that finish in new hampshire. right off the bat, he was able to pivot to something that he feels very strongly on, national security and foreign policy. very comfortable in those answers. one of the other moment where is he shined was when he was describing his tax plan and he made it very personal, talkin i about the family, saying the family is the most important institution in society. we we are expecting clashes between rubio and bush. that battle never really
materialized in this debate. however, we did see marco rubio clash repeatedly with ted cruz on immigration. both of them, ted cruz saying that marco rubio, backed what he called amnesty as part of that gang of eight bill. marco rubio saying that cruz himself had lied on his immigration policy. so there was some tense moments there. and one of the more intense moments of the night that got a lot of reaction is when marco rubio said that ted cruz didn't even speak spanish, so he wasn't sure how he had heard one of his spanish language interviews. so a feisty performance for marco rubio. he needed a strong performance and it looks like he may have done that today. >> that little improv was a lighter moment, when ted cruz saying we could do spanish if you want to. i want to play some sounds as we bring in our panel here of the other big story, justice antonin
scalia dying suddenly, unexpectedly, given his health and vigor by all public accounts. that is where the debate started. here is an exchange between cruz and trump on supreme court nominations. >> the next president is going to appoint one, two, three, four supreme court justices. if donald trump is president, he will appoint liberals. if donald trump -- >> excuse me, excuse me -- >> if donald trump is president, your second amendment will go away. >> floyd abrams, i want to start with you. you look at that exchange. i don't think anyone knows who donald trump might nominate, if he really were president. he mentioned dyed in the wool, pro life nominees. but your thoughts on the debate and the death of justice scalia? >> maybe i'll start with the second first. justice scalia was a monumental figure on the court. he really changed the court. his notion of originalism, going
back to the framers, and of applying what he thought or said the framers meant 200 years later was a radical change, even from the more conservative jurists on the court. and he really had a major impact. he was a delight to argue before. if he was on your side. he was charming. he interrupted. he knew what he wanted. he was very smart. he was brilliant. he was a great writer, and towards the end, he was more assertive than ever before in his writing. but he was a very special person on the court and whether you agree with his views or not, he was memorable. in terms of the debate itself, i don't think we have any idea who donald trump would appoint. i really -- yes, he mentioned
two names today. but it's never been anything that he's commented on before. and i think one can predict safely the sort of people that senator cruz would appoint. but i don't think with trump we have the slightest idea. >> david frum, weigh in on that if you would, in a way that justice scalia loomed over tonight's debate. >> he loomed over it also in another background. just before the debate began, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell said he didn't think that anybody whom the president nominated should come to a vote. one of the questions that was overhang thing debate is the one ge of governance. this was an unusually contentious, argumentative and harsh debate and the audience too seemed to mix into it. and against the background
statement of the majority leader, there's some real governance questions you're left with after watch thing performance. >> elise, you have some experience with what it is to go out there on the stage with donald trump, who does seem to shake everyone. >> well, tonight also you could see donald trump, i think, got the -- the other candidates got more under his skin than vice versa. the crowd definitely played to trump's weaknesses. it was a jeb and rubio crowd and he did not do well with the personal attacks. the back and forth with jeb tonight over national security may be one of the defining moments of the race, because it exposes such a divide within the republican field on national security, on george w. bush's legacy, on the legacy and of 9/11. >> we're going to jump to hallie jackson with ben carson. >> dr. carson, i know you're going through the spin room
motions. did you do enough tonight to make an impact on voters in >> i certainly hope so. i'm not going to get into the mud slinging. i thought that was pretty immature. but did get an opportunity to make some very salient points. we'll see. i think people are mature enough to realize we're going to have to make decisions based on real information. that's why i referred people to my website, because i have detailed policy on just about everything. and not just bullet points. and those are the kinds of things that you really need to make a decision on. >> when we talked before the debate, you said your supporters love you and the policies that you're talking about, but they wanted to see you interrupt more and shout and be a little more fiery. i'm not sure we saw that from you tonight. >> i didn't have to do it tonight. they asked me questions tonight. >> you didn't want to mix it up with donald trump, who was really in a feisty moment with some of these other candidates here? >> as far as i'm concerned,
that's a foolish waste of time. >> why? >> because what we need to be talking about are the real issues. this country is on the brink of disaster, financially. i think we have some real problems when it comes to our foreign policy, which is a reactive policy rather than proactive policy. and we have a lot of very dangerous situations evolving. we should be talking about those issues. we should be talking about the divisiveness going on in our society. we should be talking about the race relations going on and how to improve those. social security, how do we save that? these are things that we ought to be talking about. not this kind of infighting that makes no sense. >> when you look at where you are, when you look at some of the polling that we've seen in south carolina, you are not in the top tier. how much of a concern is that for you and do you feel like you did enough to get out of that position with tonight's debate? because you used to be a front-runner and now you're not. >> we'll see, we'll see.
it really depends on what people want. i harken back to the ancient romans before their collapse. everybody wanted to go to the coliseum because there was going to be a good fight while their society was deteriorating around them. i hope we're smarter than that. >> do you worry voters aren't hearing your message, that you're flagging at the wind mills here? >> we'll see. ask me that in a week and we'll see. >> what do you want to have happen in the next week? we're a week away from the primary, in perfect world, what occurs in the next seven days? >> i will be here the whole time. >> you're not going back to florida, no change of clothes? >> no change of clothes and i'll be doing a lot of interviews, local tv as well as national and radio and getting into many of the communities here. and having an opportunity to really help them to understand the real issues that are
affecting us right now. >> last couple of ones. who do you think did the best tonight on that stage, which of your rivals? >> i think everybody had their -- had some really good moments. if you just go right down the stage, everybody had at least one good moment. >> anybody have any particularly bad moments for you? >> not for me. they gave me an opportunity to make the point that we really shouldn't be engaged in these food fights. we should be talking about something that's important. so i was glad they gave me that moment. >> dr. carson, thank you so much. back to you in the studio. >> live from the coliseum. thank you, hallie jackson. i want to bring in aaron mcpike. the crucial back and forth between donald trump and jeb bush on security. let's look at that. >> the next president is going to appoint one, two, three, four
supreme court justices. if donald trump is president, he will appoint liberals. if donald trump is -- >> excuse me, excuse me. >> if donald trump is president, your second amendment will go away. >> that wasn't the qulclip we w looking for, control room. let's try to look at this one -- we don't have it. erin, basically, you had this back and forth and you had jeb bush really standing up for what he calls his brother, the iraq war, and donald trump saying not what you commonly hear on the republican stage. >> you're seeing a lot of the conventional wisdom that jeb did really well in this stage and in the debate generally and donald trump did not do as well. i'm not sure that's correct. because i would say that genteel jeb here was whining about the fact that he's sick of people
blaming his family. and he said, trump, you're not going to be invited to the rally with my brother on monday. i thought that was weak. donald trump went after it and said george w. bush lied, that the iraq war was a big fat mistake. i think there are plenty of people in the republican primary electorate and independents who will identify more with the message that trump was giving there opposed to what jeb bush said. >> i'm going to jump back to hallie jackson where ben carson has nicknamed the spin room the coliseum. let's hear john kasich. >> the second place finisher in new hampshire looking for momentum in south carolina. thank you for joining us. >> there's a poll that came out late this afternoon that showed me running second in south carolina. >> and you think that's a realistic finishing position for you? >> probably not. i don't know. we're going to do the best we can. i tell you, the crowds that we're getting are amazing. we're going to put as much as we
can into this state, but we're moving on. we're going to be here, compete, and then i'm going to be in michigan. >> you head to michigan. >> then in virginia. this is a national campaign. and people thought he does new hampshire and where does he go? we're going all over the place. so we'll compete hard here. i don't know where we will finish. but we are going to really work here hard and then through here to other places, because it's a national campaign. >> talk to me about tonight's debate, how do you feel your performance was, did you do enough to break through here? >> i don't know what breaking through means. everybody always asks that question. but i think it was a demolition derby. but my car is still going around the track. and that's what i wanted to achieve. i wanted to be positive. people were positive about what they're saying about my performance and i liked it. i'm getting better at these
things. >> do you feel that? >> you just start to get a little bit of a sense. the problem with me is i don't like 30 or 60-second sound bites. but that's the world we live in. i love the town halls. you've been out and seen them, haven't you? maybe you haven't. but the point of the story is that i believe that's the thing that fits the sweet spot for me. i'm going to do as many town halls regardless of how big the crowds are. >> now to donald trump. >> because the donors and special interests are members of the audience, which is a poor job done by the rnc frankly. see, i get no money from anybody. i'm putting up my own money. they're putting up -- those people are all putting up the money for the candidates, so they have total influence over the candidates. those people are all donors and special interests. so obviously it's a stacked deck. >> but you understand how television works.
what do you think the audience takes away -- >> i think the audience knew. i told the audience what it is. according to every poll i've seen, they do polls of the debates. according to every poll, i've won. >> you said during this debate, you said none of these guys are going to win. you're confident. >> they won't win. i'll win. hillary's worst nightmare is me. she does not want to run against donald trump. i know that for a fact. >> so there we go with donald trump, talking to kerry sanders. i want to jump back to hallie jackson. go ahead. we're looking for hallie jackson. gabe, your thoughts there as we just heard from a few people and you are with senator graham? >> yes. we're here with senator lindsey graham who is supporting jeb bush. and he's a surrogate for jeb bush.
senator, tell me how do you think governor bush did? >> this is his best debate. i think he'll emerge as the alternative to trump. he's been standing up to trump and getting under trump's skin. we saw tonight a guy in a democratic debate, not a republican debate when it comes to trump. very few people here admire putin and think george w. bush is a liar. i think jeb showed that steady hand we're all looking for and donald trump seemed to be just a crazy man. >> one of the key moments of the debate is when donald trump blamed 9/11 on george w. bush. what was your reaction to that? >> i almost got up out of my chair, because i hear that from nutjobs on the right and the left. 9/11 was caused by the terrorists, and after 9/11, george w. bush did everything he could to keep us safe. everybody believed the intel
regarding iraq that they had weapons of mass destruction. bush d bush is not a liar. he's a good man and we need to get back to the attitude of keeping the war over there so it doesn't come here. so what mr. trump did is exposed how unprepared he is to be a republican. what low-life kind of fellow he is and jeb bush now is going to be very endeared to the people of south carolina, because we stand up for our families and we like george w. bush. >> following iowa, some critics have written off governor bush's campaign. he seemed reinvigorated by marco rubio's poor debate performance in new hampshire and has governor bush has -- we expected a bit of a fight tonight between marco rubio and governor bush and it never materialized. why is that? >> marco rubio is a wonderful man who i don't think is ready to be president as much as jeb bush. when you look at marco's experience and that of jeb's,
it's not close. 40 admirals and generals are supporting jeb. i've been to iraq and afghanistan 36 times. t t i think he's the best guy to be commander in chief. what you've seen with jeb is a guy who has had his back against the wall. three, four weeks ago, he was on the verge of being dead. that's the times that test you. he's getting better because he wants to get better. he's getting better because that nature of who he is is coming out. >> his brother, george w. bush, is expected on the campaign trail monday. what do you think that will do? >> that will blow the frigging roof off the place in north charleston. i don't think he's a liar. i think putin is a thug and i like president george w. bush as most people here in south carolina do. so i'm glad he's coming back. he's beloved in our state. it will matter. but jeb bush, i think above all others on that stage, is ready to be commander in chief.
i could go to sleep well tonight knowing he would be my president tomorrow. and i think he can beat the democrats, because he got 60% of the hispanic vote in florida. he did big things for a lot of people. >> senator, i would be remiss if i didn't ask you about the developments in the passing of justice scalia. we were talking about what this means for the future and whether a replacement might be nominated in the next year. what do you think should happen? >> i think president obama and harry reid changed the rules of the senate to avoid consensus that's been required. i told them if you do that, you'll be required to get consensus. so if president obama can put forward a name where he can get consensus, i'll vote for them. >> is that realistic? >> i think that's the consequence of what they did. you can't allow a group of
people to change the rules to avoid consensus and embrace it when they need it. so the likelihood of a nominee getting through the senate is remote. conservatives should think about winning an election we can't afford to lose. donald trump doesn't have a snowball's chance of being president of the united states. >> but he's the front-runner. >> overtime, an alternative will emerge. what is he doing to be the front-runner? calling immigrants rapists and druggists. he slandered the muslim faith. he's disparaged women. he's getting a slice of the pie. there's 35% of our primary that believe obama is a muslim and born in kenya. we're not going to win doing that. >> several of the candidates on this stage said that president obama shouldn't even bother nominating any replacement for
justice scalia. you're saying he could, it just -- >> here's the challenge. i voted for sotomayor and kagan. i believe the president has a right to nominate people of their philosophy. but when this president and harry reed changed the rules that i fought -- when republicans tried to do it, i was in the gang of 14 that said no. that really bothered me a lot. he has to find a candidate that can obtain a level of consensus that would be required. whether they can or not is up to him. >> thank you so much for joining us. that is senator lindsey graham, supporting jeb bush. he thought that jeb bush had a wonderful night and his campaign is reinvigorated. >> thank you, gabe. i want to bring in perry bacon. perry, part of the argument is, both sides have changed rules when it comes to judicial nominations. graham arguing the democrats will reap what they've sewn.
>> it's hard to take that argument -- when he voted for sotomayor and justice kagan, the democrats had a very large majority in the senate. there were 59 or 60 democratic senators. so whether graham or republicans backed those nominees or not didn't make the margin that different. versus now, you have a senate controlled by the republicans. that's the key factor here and that's what has changed here. i think his comments though, you saw that rubio and ted cruz, the people in the senate said, obama should not bother to even send anyone. don't give a name at all. but jeb bush and donald trump, when asked that question, they both essentially said, if i were president, i would certainly nominate someone. but i would not weaken the office by not nominating someone. so you'll see maybe the case
changes from are the president should not send anyone to the president should send someone but the senate will probably reject that person. >> floyd abrams, the judicial process has been highly criticized. but the notion that the main stream position, not only from all the candidates we heard from tonight, but essentially don't bother sending a name. >> yeah. i really wonder, it's hard not to think that they would rather not be put in the position of having to address an individual, some person who the president designates, and say, we won't consider him or her rather than the more general thought, which is easier for them in a way, just don't bother send anyone. the president is going to send a name now. i don't think they'll be able to escape passing some sort of judgment. they're going to have to say the
person is either not qualified or we can do better after our guy is elected. so one way or the other, i think they are going to have to address whoever it is the president chooses. >> we're following this breaking news on justice scalia passing, as well as the latest from the gop debate, including more live coverage from the spin room where our correspondents are deployed. we'll have much more right after this short break. then you run into a tree. but your totaled new car isn't totally replaced. with new car replacement, we'll replace the full value of your car plus depreciation. liberty mutual insurance. (two text tones) now? (text tone) excuse me. (phone tone) again? be right back. always running to the bathroom because your bladder is calling the shots? (text tone) you may have oab. enough of this. we're going to the doctor. take charge and ask your doctor about myrbetriq. that's myr-be-triq, the first and only treatment... ...in its class for oab symptoms of urgency...
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welcome back. we have special live breaking coverage. we're going to go right back to hallie jackson who is with donald trump. go ahead. >> so mr. trump, let's jump right into it. how do you think you did tonight? >> i think really good. everybody came at me, which i expected. >> that wasn't surprising to you? >> no. i watched you, i watched everybody else. i think it was really good. i enjoyed it, believe it or not. but everybody came at me. i expected it. and i think we did well,
according to drudge and the polls taken, i won the debate. >> there were moments where you seemed really angry and mad at jeb bush. you talked about the money he spent against you. >> your, you get angry, but it's not anger, but you want to do something for effect. when a man is lying and spends $20 million, some massive amount he got from special interests and donors who have total control over him, you don't like that. so somebody said -- one of the reporters said why did you hit on him? because he spends a lot of money on negative advertising on me. but when somebody says mistruths or lies, and i had the same thing with ted cruz. i don't think that was any different than jeb. but jeb is lower in the polls. i think ted is going down in the polls because ted is a nasty guy who doesn't tell the truth. >> you said before you liked ted cruz. >> i liked him before i got to know him. i seen what he did to ben carson
and what he did in iowa. i saw the voter violation form he made up. that was a fraudulent form. i've seen robocalls made even in south carolina -- >> his campaign denies it. >> it turned out the head of his campaign is the one in charge of it. so he can deny all he wants. but the head of his campaign was in charge of it. >> you act like that gets under your skin. >> you have to take care of things. the same thing with this country. when somebody does something wrong, you have to take care of it. you walk out of those deals. the deal with iran where we gave $150 billion to iran and we get nothing. you can't allow that. in a debate, it's the same thing. literally every person i've spoken to liked the way i handled it, because you have to have the truth. i'm a person, i'm a very straightforward person. i'm a very honorable person. i don't lie. and when people are lying, you have to straighten them out.
>> one of the more memorable moments was your comment on september 11, your comment on former president bush, especially in a place like south carolina where the bush name is beloved. is that something -- you said it before, is that something you want to walk back or do you stand by those remarks? >> of course i stand by those remarks. were there weapons of mass destruction? i don't think so. there were no weapons of mass destruction. and then jeb said, my brother kept us safe. the world trade center came down, i was there. i lost many people that were friends of mine. the world trade center came down during his tenure. so when you say he was in there trying and everything else. and there were many people that say it shouldn't have happened because he wouldn't listen to his own cia. so i just give you the facts. the world trade center came down. he didn't listen to the cia who had information this was going to happen. and were there weapons of mass destruction? no. and then you look at the last 90
days of economic collapse of our country. we got barack obama in all fairness because of that. so jeb, wonderful that he sticks up for his brother, but his brother had some big flaws. >> you had the first question on the day when everybody is talking about justice scalia's death. you seemed prepared for it. you mentioned a couple of names. >> diane sykes. a wonderful woman, from everything i know, she's very conservative, highly thought of, from wisconsin. and i think she would be a good choice. again, i would have to vet diane sykes. she's right now a federal judge. i would have to vet many people. the perfect would be somebody as close to justice scalia as we could find. >> one more for you. when you look at where you are in south carolina, you talked about your ground game in new hampshire being better than in iowa. how are you feeling about your
organization in this state and can you do enough to reach out to the evangelicals in >> i think so. right now i'm leading with the evangelicals. >> ted cruz is nipping at your heels. >> but he's lying and they don't like people that lie. by the way, i just won with the evangelicals in new hampshire, by a substantial margin. so i think i'm going to do great with evangelicals. i'm very strong and powerful on christianity and peeping it strong, because christianity is being really hit from every angle. and believe me, my relationship with evangelicals has been amazing. it's been amazing. it's really been a love fest in so many ways with jerry falwell jr. and so many coming in. >> you talk about a love fest. did the boos tonight bug you? >> all donors and special interests are in the audience. i know some of these people.
now and i had my wife and a couple of kids. they are right now all special interest. i know many of them, they're friends of mine, they're waving at me and booing. i think, look, it's fine, but it's really unfair to new hampshire russ -- numerous of t candidates. look, according to drudge, according to everybody else, i won the debate. so it couldn't have been so bad. i do think it is unfair when the audiences are stacked. >> ari has one more question. >> what does he like about judge sykes and judge pryor? >> ari is our anchor here. he wants to know what is it that you -- what specifically do you like about judge sykes and judge
pryor? >> a tremendous record, a very conservative record. highly respected. great intellect, all of the things you need to have a great supreme court justice. >> thank you much. back to you. >> thank you to donald trump for joining us. now we go over to gabe who has senator tim scott. go ahead, guys. >> we're here with senator tim scott. you have endorsed marco rubio. how do you think he did tonight? >> i think it was a great night for marco. when you look on the stage tonight, what you saw was one candidate beyond doubt head and shoulders above the rest who is presidential. he didn't get into personal attacks. he focused on the american people, solutions for the american people and with a brother who is a colonel in the air force, thinking about a commander in chief on day one, there's no candidate better suited to do that than marco rubio. >> he had a disappointing fifth place finish in new hampshire. what is his path forward here in
south carolina? i know you were a key endorsement for him. he's reaching out to evangelical voters and trying to take it away from some of the -- he and ted cruz clashed today over immigration. how do you think that debate went over immigration? >> he made a contrast to his record and ted's record. that's what you want. you want to stay focused on the record. but more importantly, what marco will do is continue the momentum. he will finish better next saturday than he would have before don't's debate, because tonight he showed us what we needed to see as the next president of the united states. >> on the campaign trail, he's really stressed his national security and foreign policy. some of his critics say he does not have the experience to be president. doesn't have the executive experience to be president and that's something jeb bush has stressed over the last few days. what do you say to marco rubio's critics who say he doesn't have
the experience necessary to run this country? >> i think it's interesting, because i've run a business personally, i've run a county before. i'm in the united states senate. what i understand without any question is on day one, there's no better candidate prepared for commander in chief than marco rubio. without any question at all. his knowledge on the issues, his time served on foreign relations gives him an intimate appreciation and knowledge on the key issues facing our foreign threats in the world today. >> now, thank you senator scott. ari, back to you. >> thank you, gabe gutierrez, speaking there with senator tim scott. i want to bring back in david frum, former george bush speechwriter. george w. bush's name came up tonight and i wanted to give you the benefit of responding to that. we just heard donald trump
talking about ted cruz. he told hallie jackson, i liked him before i got to know him. here's some more moments from that in the debate. >> it's weak to disparage women. it's weak to disparage his tannics. it's weak to denigrate the disabled. and it's really weak to call john mccain a loser. that is outrageous. >> he also said -- >> i've laid about my plans -- >> two days ago he said he would take his pants off and moon everybody and that's fine, nobody reports that. he gets up and says that and then he tells me, oh, my language was a little rough. >> my language was a little rough, and then earlier he spoke about iraq and 9/11. your thoughts on all that and whether this works in south carolina for donald trump, who by his estimation and by polls is doing well there. >> i don't think we've conveyed the magnitude of what happened.
on the republican stage, in south carolina, the firewall of republican primary contests, the front-runner for the republican nomination endorsed the idea of impeaching the last republican president and accused him of lying the country into war. it was beyond an astonishing moment. i don't know that anything like that has never happened in the history of president debating. and what it will mean, who can say at this point? donald trump is a disruptive force, but these are discussions that republicans have not had for 15 years. many have felt them. but that's a conversation that needed to be had, this is maybe not the time, maybe not the way. maybe it had to be this way, i don't know. and again, in the immigration debate, the vitriol and brutality with which ted cruz
and marco rubio spoke to each other, that's another debate the republican party has had. i compared this debate to like one of those horrible thanksgivings where they open one too many bottles of wine and all the family members begin saying what they really think about each other. >> i hear that, and you worked as well in this national security wing of the george w. bush administration. what do you think when you see your party in this kind of angst with a communicator like donald trump who seems to -- we talk about the third rail of politics. it doesn't seem to affect him in the gop. >> i think tonight is the gop avoiding a serious talk about foreign policy in the post 9/11 era. senator rand paul really did a lot to push forward that we could have a balanced national security that looks out for the national interests that isn't constantly looking for the next
place to invade. that was met with a lot of controversy. then donald trump comes in, in a completely unintelligible way throwing out nonsense. >> he said after the debate, there were no wmd. >> i agree with that, there were no wmds. that's not what we're debating. but he's getting a little conspiratorial about president bush and what he's saying that president bush could have prevented 9/11. i think it's a mistake in south carolina. this is a state where one-fifth of the voters are military. >> that's the political question. we'll jump back to the spin room, because i understand we have former senator norm coleman. go ahead. >> hi. he's joining us here to speak on behalf, because he's endorsed jeb bush. i guess the first question is, what did you see tonight from jeb bush? because we're not going to see
him here in the spin room? >> he's the next commander in chief. he took on donald trump. you're not going to beat hillary clinton unless you can deal with donald trump and donald trump calling george w. bush a liar, donald trump praising putin and attacking bush. and jeb bush, he's in control, in command. i thought this was his best debate. >> how do you think it played with the discussion and some might say attacks on george bush's brother? >> i can't believe it plays well in south carolina. i can't believe it plays well throughout the country. >> do you think discussing 9/11, the lack of -- the world trade center and the lack of weapons of mass destruction hurt donald trump? >> i think what hurt is not discussing. you can talk about the weapons of mass destruction, you can talk about the world trade
center. but i think what hurt donald trump is when he called president bush a liar. what hurt donald trump, he accused president bush of being responsible for 9/11. that's kookey stuff. it wasn't the nature of the issues, but the way trump approached it. donald trump is up there quoting putin and attacking g.w. i don't think that plays well in this state and i'm not sure where it would play well. >> but you say that, and we are seeing many of those voters who are coming out for donald trump are people who have never voted before or certainly have not voted in a long time and they seem to be behind his message of, i'm a businessman and i'm taking on washington and they have a general feeling that it doesn't work with a regular politician. >> here he is in anger out there. and jeb bush said it, people are living paycheck to paycheck.
69% of the people think the country is moving in the wrong direction. donald trump plays to that. he says we're going to make america great again. but when you dig down, there's nothing there. >> these debates are supposed to get down to some of the issues. one of the issues asked of donald trump and others was about how you would actually tax companies that decide to move to mexico. is it a function of the debate format that we don't get a real answer to that? >> sometimes it's hard to get a real answer. his answer is he's going to punish them or a 45% tariff on some air conditioner. this process isn't perfect, but you get a sense, and i think you got a sense tonight, you listen to jeb bush and you get a sense that that's a plan for taking down isis, a plan for making the country strong again.
and donald trump, he just says, it's going to be great, but there's nothing behind it. he gets his foreign policies from the sunday show. >> he's used that line before. >> but that's what donald trump says, it's not jeb's line, that's donald trump saying it. o jeb bush has a plan. i think in the end, there are some folks that are just going to respond to trump, tough guy, i guess so. but i think you saw tonight a guy that is calling g.w. bush a liar. i don't think that plays well. >> so as much as you're saying, as you said, that jeb bush is presidential, you think based on your analysis, and you've endorsed jeb bush, you think that donald trump hurt himself tonight? >> i just thought it was over the line.
you have a guy that is attacking g.w. bush, defending planned parenthood, defending imminent domain, i don't think that sells well. it seems to be the issue that stays at the top of the google search. i'm curious. is jeb bush weak on that? as you heard, donald trump goes right at him on that issue. >> and again, trump's thing is we're going to throw 11 million people out. i don't think -- i have to tell you, i've seen polling on this issue. republicans doesn't support deporting 11 million people out of this country. they want someone to fix the problem, okay, in terms of illegal immigration and folks here legally but then there has to be something rational. i have toll you, that's been a message for trump repeating again and again. most republicans, most americans would like to fix the problem.
in the long run, do i think jeb is going to win on the issue? i do. do i think it's a challenging issue and trump gets some mileage? he gets some mileage but there's a limitation to how far you can take it. >> that's the partisan take on the bush campaign. we're not going to see jeb bush in here but that's their take on what they saw develop tonight and i guess it's all in the eye of the beholder with the audience. >> sure. >> very interesting, your exchanges there. you're in the belly of the beast. you mentioned you're speaking to coleman as a surrogate. donald trump comes right out of the spin room to make his case. we're about to go back to the spin room where robert costa is. i want to update on other developments in the other big breaking news story, the death of just antonin scalia. right now the white house flags are being lowered in
commemorati commemoration. you see it there. i can tell you here in new york city mayor de blasio has ordered the flags down as well for this queens native and local story in the eyes of the mayor. i can tell you justice scalia's body is being flown from alpine, texas, where he was found dead while on that hunting trip towards el paso. we are tracking that. and i can also tell you we don't often hear from the white house this late on a saturday night but just moments ago the white house deputy press secretary eric schultz put out word that president obama did make contact with eugene scalia, justice scalia's son, to express his ccndolences. we're going to go back to kerry in the spin room. as we both saw on deet bait stage tonight, justice scalia's sudden death is a big topic on substance and on politics.
what else do you have for us? >> well, you know, ted cruz like jeb bush has not entered the spin room but we have the congressman here from north carolina speaking on behalf of the came. the first question is how do you think ted cruz did tonight? >> obviously it was a strong night as you start to see the come papare and contrast betweee candidates, it got contentious. the senator made a good statement for not only the economy but national security. >> reporter: you say it was contentious. it looked like it degraded to a food fight. the back and forth going on was extremely personal. i'm tcurious whether you think that helps the electorate make a decision. >> i think when you see it in the auditorium, it's worse than
what you see on tv. >> tles a lot of cat calls. >> the back and forth between candidates is not as important as the back and forth and support moms and dads on main street. >> you're elected. you understand what it is to get elected and personality plays a big role here. >> it does. one as we started to see a lot of it really get to a point where it was very difficult to hear what the answers were. i think as a moderator trying to reestablish control of that and say, okay, you know, here's the question, let's stick with the question, the policy, so that people can make an informed decision, i think that's what it's all about. >> reporter: i'm curious. in the statements that donald trump has made, especially about the supreme court, he has referred to in just about every statement the word conservative. and it seems to me there is a battle taking place between ted
cruz and donald trump on who is truly a conservative here and ted cruz is trying to suggest that donald trump is not. is this debate, which we just saw tonight, is this an attempt to paint donald trump outside of the republican party, which as he has said, he hasn't been embraced by the establishment anyway. >> i think for senator cruz it's really about trying to make sure he gets his message out and compare that with that the donald trump or anybody else. i can tell you having worked with senator cruz consistent lip he has always taken a conservative stand. it's one thing to campaign one way. it another to make sure when you go to washington, d.c. you actually stand up. i've worked side by side with him for three years now and i can tell you he's been a consistent conservative. conservatives across the country are starting to coalesce around that and start to see the difference and it time that, you know, we try to separate the campaign rhetoric from the actual policy. >> thank you very much, congressman. you're just a few miles over the
border. from north carolina and down here in south carolina tonight. we're going to see how this all plays out very shortly in a prime rip here in this state to see whether this debate actually influenced votes. >> very good. >> kerry sanders in the spin room. robert costa also in the spin room, but a less crowded area which is good for our audio. >> we aren't fully processing what happens when a front-runner cuts against the iraq war and calls out president bush for overseeing the nation when 9/11 occurred but also explicitly talks about impeachment. >> what we saw tonight, ari, is a republican front-runner going against a republican consensus that as calcified within the gop over the past decade. it wasn't just on 9/11 and
foreign policy and george wnc. bush, it was donald trump offering an alternative to a republican establishment that has long held power. >> and let me talk to hillary clinton tonight. we've talked so much about the republicans. she's out campaigning and she was very explicit on the other big issue of the day so we did want to get to this, talking about her idea of how to approach the judicial vacancy created by justice scalia's death. here we go. >> i know our thoughts and prayers are with the scalia family tonight and i'm also thinking and praying for the future of our country. it is outrageous that republicans in the senate and on the campaign trail have already pledged to block if -- any
replacement that president obama nominat nominates. i'm sure we'll all have a lot more to say about this in the coming days. let me just make one point. barack obama is president of the united states until january 20th, 2017! that is a fact, my friends, whether the republicans like it or not. >> robert, whether they like it or not, that is new, it is strong sound from hillary clinton there and it's in contrast to what we heard on the debate stage tonight. i want to get your thoughts and go around to aaron and floyd on this as well. what are we seeing shape up here in the presidential race now with the supreme court seat being perhaps issue number one? >> we're seeing it being thrust to the fore, a tragic moment when a supreme court justice dies. for democrats this enables secretary clinton to embrace the
obama administration and president obama even more. you're seeing real pressure from the republican field against the republican leadership in congress to not let the president nominate someone, to stall any nomination, to make it a lame duck president sip when -- presidency when it comes to the court. >> you've known secretary clinton for some time. your view procedurally of what she just hamade, that they have the time and thus the nomination should be made and thus voted on. >> i think she's certainly right that the president ought to nominate a candidate. and then, i mean, how can one detach this from politics entirely but what ought to happen is that will ought to be hearings. and people who disapprove of the candidate, you know, ought to say so, ought to marshall their
arguments but i don't find it persuasive level to take the position that no matter who is nominated that that person will not even be considered by them. >> sight unseen. >> it an extraordinary position. and i don't think it works as well. politics isn't my game but it just doesn't seem to be to be at all as powerful as for them to say second the person up, we'll look at anyone you want and then do their best or worst or whatever. but to say flat out we don't care who you send up, either because it's barack obama doing the sending or because there just isn't a whole lot of time left before the election, i think it's going to be a very hard sell to the public. >> that's a